The Best and Worst Magazine Covers of April 2016

Time to read some magazines.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s untrue when it comes to fashion magazines. Each month we dissect covers far and wide using our patented Anna Wintour rating system.

Florals, butterflies, pastels, Jesus references—there’s no doubt spring has sprung at the newsstand!

  • Elle Canada

    Elle Canada April 2016
    Elle Canada

    c Iggy, 2015 isn’t the only thing you need to erase. Worry about sweating the small stuff in 2016, too, like those distracting rings and that what-year-is-it-again belt thing. Keep trying. Flash forward!

    HALF-ANNA

  • Glamour

    Glamour April 2016
    Glamour

    Why do all of Hollywood’s new actresses look like Keira Knightley? Daisy Ridley’s January Glamour UK cover was sooo much more flattering than Gal’s, probably thanks to the Force!

    But this top looks like someone on Project Runway stuck a bunch of sticks of Trident wrappers together for some weird bubble-gum challenge.

    HALF-ANNA

  • Harper’s Bazaar

    Harper's Bazaar

    Jennifer Aniston always, always, always looks good on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. (You can’t forget her floating in a glass bubble in 2014 or her channeling Babs in September 2010.)

    The flow of this restrained Versus Versace dress reflects quite literally, but also throughout the tone and composition of the entire image. It creates focus as well as an overall sense of harmony that feels so effortless—more so than the whole walking-on-water business.

    actresses-she-dying-collaborate-I-had-big-tease

    The newsstand cover is a snoozefest, but that photo of “falconer Aniston” from the cover shoot is making us hope she’ll soon be playing some long lost Targaryen relative on Game of Thrones. (In that dress and all.)

    aging-gracefully-I-feel-better-my-40s
    4.5-ANNAS
  • Harper’s Bazaar Australia

    Harper's Bazaar Australia April 2016
    Harper's Bazaar Australia

    There’s what the editors were going for with this shot, and then there’s what we all see when we look at it.

    There’s a lesson to be learned: Don’t shoot the cover right after lunch! Natalie Portman deserves none of this schmutz!

    1-ANNA

  • Elle

    Elle April 2016
    Elle

    Ok now, Kerry, we see you there in formation, slaying in Shinola’s Cassius Clay sweatshirt. Actually, Elle has been slaying all year with candid portraits that are such a nice change from the let’s-shoot-someone-on-location-but-drop-out-the-background-in-Photoshop covers of yesteryear.

    4-ANNAS

  • Harper’s Bazaar Man (Singapore)

    Harper's Bazaar Singapore April 2016
    Harper's Bazaar Singapore

    While we know (and love) every single one of the youngest Jonas brothers’ muscles, you don’t need to be this hulking, Nick.

    Also: Why’d you cut off all your hair, bro?

    HALF-ANNA
  • GQ

    GQ

    After British GQ’s weird, five-cover homage to David Beckham earlier this year, this cover is such a simple yet inviting image that shows off the pieces he’s wearing as much as the piece that he is.

    Tina Fey got swallowed by words on the cover of Town and Country,but here the huge logo and blurbs gel in proportion to the subject.

    And it’s just so nice to see a guy in something other than a suit on the cover of GQ.

    3.5-ANNAS

  • Out

    Out magazine April 2016
    Out

    Love that Broad City is back, but we can’t say “yaaas queen” to this cover. (Especially not when Interview had Abbi and Ilana in this epic shoot in March.)

    The too-direct flash and over-the-top self-referencing makes this feel like a Target ad promoting an exclusive DVD box set.

    1-ANNA

  • InStyle

    InStyle April 2016
    InStyle

    March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but there’s nothing sheepish about Lupita Nyong’o’s first InStyle cover.

    Out on the circuit for the The Jungle Book remake, she is so well-styled in this intricate Proenza Schouler dress. And InStyle is not letting up as they evolve their redesign: Such powerful styling, crisp photography and beautiful fonts. Nailed it.

    How far they’ve come!

    4-ANNAS

  • Harper’s Bazaar UK

    Harper's Bazaar UK April 2016
    Harper's Bazaar UK

    If there’s anything to take away from this Robin Wright cover, it’s that it’s damn hard being First Lady—even when you’re Claire Underwood.

    Robin looks so sleepy on this cover, but that candy-striped top is not the right pick-me-up. They should’ve just let the House of Cards costume designers style her here.

    2-ANNAS

  • InStyle UK

    InStyle UK April 2016
    InStyle UK

    While we took half an Anna off for that weird placement of Maisie Williams’ right hand, overall Arya Stark is bolstering her presence as a fashion maven in this gorgeous Preen dress.

    3.5-ANNAS

  • Man of the World

    Man of the World April 2016
    Man of the World

    When you’re a hunk like Henry Cavill, why wear clothes ever? No, really—is he wearing a choir robe here? Never has a collar so prominently distracted. And the words just get so lost on the bottom. Not super, MoTW.

    2-ANNAS

  • Nylon

    Nylon April 2016
    Nylon

    Nicki Minaj always pulls off eye-catching covers that look fun, despite her reputation for being “difficult.”

    Here, Nicki looks like she just raided a thrift-store toy chest in Boca Raton. And we mean that as a compliment.

    2.5-ANNAS
  • Town & Country

    Town and Country April 2016
    Town and Country

    In what unsurprisingly just looks like an extension of her American Express campaign, Tina looks fabulous—and skeptical of all the huge words that are about to swallow her. Shut. It Down.

    But seriously, everyone who reads this magazine has to have an American Express, right?

    2-ANNAS

  • Vogue

    Vogue April 2016
    Vogue

    Rihanna is an elegant, shiny flamingo in this Tom Ford number.

    Whereas Jennifer Aniston’s walking-on-water cover is cohesive, here the pop of the dress against the backdrop is less effective. How does a glimmering outfit like this come off so dull?

    RiRi is working it, of course, creating those ripples and running the world. But her tattoo is not doing this look any favors.

    3.5-ANNAS

  • Vogue UK

    Vogue UK April 2016
    Vogue UK

    Across the pond, though, RiRi is the finest spring cowgirl in this white floral getup. (It’s shiny, but no rhinestones. Whew!)

    Two Vogue covers in the same month gives us a rare chance to compare and contrast. Immediately you can see how they’re serving very different readers.

    3-ANNAS

  • Men’s Health UK

    Men's Health UK April 2016
    Men's Health UK

    So many things to love about this: Lose fat by eating carbs! Vegan muscle food! Joe Manganiello!

    But seriously—ALL the demerits for making his ass look flat. How is that even possible?

    HALF-ANNA

  • W Magazine

    W Magazine April 2016
    W Magazine

    Sally Draper, you stop that pouting this instant! Kiernan Shipka looks like she was told she’d be the only dream teen mouthing off on this cover, but got to the shoot and saw the other two and made this face.

    If Willow and Zendaya hadn’t already perfected their “this bitch?” glares, they did that day.

    2.5-ANNAS

  • Teen Vogue

    Teen Vogue April 2016
    Teen Vogue

    Kiernan Shipka is also angry that Grimes exists for editors to call when they used to call her for Teen Vogue covers.

    While that snake-like headpiece is our favorite part of this peak-Urban Outfitters look, how long do you think Grimes can sit still like that?

    1,5-ANNAS

  • Complex

    Complex magazine April 2016
    Complex

    Zayn’s pose on this cover is a mirror image of how we felt when we first saw it—stopped dead in our tracks. It makes you want to run to the nearest water fountain for relief.

    Inside the issue, pop’s latest prince shares that gorgeous mind of his, gorgeous smile of his, gorgeous hair of his, gorgeous torso of his… (Just click the link already!)

    3-ANNAS

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